There are quite a few phrases in the English language that annoy me. For example: "I’m just saying" (Well of course you were, I was present while you were speaking) "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" (So was yesterday and so is tomorrow) or even "More haste, less speed" (You may as well have said ‘More heat, less temperature’ it makes no sense). But a phrase which really makes my blood boil is in fact a title. The title given to the president of the United States of America: Leader of the free world.
Leader of the free world? Who decided that? I’m pretty sure that I live in the free world and I’m also pretty sure that Mr Obama is not my leader. Don’t get me wrong, I love Obama. I think he’s one of the greatest things to happen to US politics for quite a while. Sure, his term in office hasn’t exactly been an easy ride but he’s done a far better job than McCain could have done or than George Bush ever did. Yes, he is the leader of the United States of America and the Commander in Chief of their armed forces but nowhere is it written in the UK constitution that he is our leader (though this may have something to do with the fact that we don’t have a constitution…)
But seriously – how pretentious is that title? The FREE WORLD? I’m pretty sure that’s inclusive of a whole bunch of other countries besides America or does Uncle Sam presume to dictate that only the good old US of A is free? Ok, so the US is a big world power and the UK does tend to kow-tow to certain policies at the drop of a hat but let’s be honest here, our leader (as much as it may pain us to say so) is David Cameron. We
may not don’t like it and we might prefer to have an Obama figure as our PM but we’re stuck with Cameron for the next few years so we may as well just accept it. I’d not even have a problem with living in the US under Obama’s leadership. Sure, I’m not with him 100% (then again who is?) but I’d be quite content truth be told. I will not however, sit quietly in my chair while it is spouted that Obama is the leader of the free world. He really isn’t.
Though if you’re in the business of making up pretentious titles for him, why not call him Emperor Of The Skies? Ruler Of The Depths Of The Sea? Supreme Potentate Of All Life? I’m sure that’d get a laugh.
Anyhow that’s all from me, your Lord And Master, His Excellency, Sir Andy Taylor.